Sunday, October 30
Halloween has always been a hectic day for us. For the years I worked and commuted it was a project to get home by 6:00. Our town has a curfew that allows trick or treat between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening. Which is great because nobody shows up at your door before 6:00 or after 8:00, the local police are good about enforcing this.
Since having Junior we've had my parents for dinner on Halloween so they can see him in his costume. Well, this has now extended to my whole family and I spent the day cooking for tomorrow, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming and moping the downstairs of our house, that was between running in and out of the house helping my husband finish roofing the front porch, he finally got back to that project, but that's a whole other story. I also raked leaves and cleaned out the flower beds for winter and made sure the front porch was cleared of fishing poles, bikes etc.
At school each family is asked to help out with one school party each year, somehow I was talked into Halloween, last year I did Christmas. I volunteered to make mini cupcakes and decorate them with teeny tiny spider webs. What planet do I live on?? I finally finished frosting and decorating at 9:00 tonight.
Tomorrow before leaving for school, I have to clean the bathroom, make the beds and fix Junior's "Mr. Incredible" mask. He ripped it while visiting his Nany and Grandpa to show off the costume. I also have to make breakfast for everyone, and hubby's lunch and promised to make a batch of cookies all before leaving the house at 8:30.
After school we're going to a friends house for a little party and some trick or treating, we have to be home by 3:30 so I can have dinner on the table by 5:00. Junior knows trick or treat starts at 6:00 and will be counting the bongs on mantle clock in the living room in anticipation.
Tuesday we'll be going to 7:00 am Mass and heading to The Christmas Tree Shop. It's about an hour away. Need to start Christmas shopping. And we'll need to be home in time for Tae Kwon Do class
Just typing all that made me tired, I'm off to bed.
PS--We still have to carve the pumpkins for the front steps.
Saturday, October 29
I finished Susan Squires' The Hunger last night.
This book is great, a prequel to The Companion, and stars Beatrix Lisse, a 700+ year old vampire, whose vampire territory is Regency London, and John Staunton, the Earl of Langley, British spy. The evil Asharti once again must be stopped. It's a page turner, it's dark, it's erotic, it's compelling and at times even gory. Exactly what I want in a vampire story.
I am amazed at how Ms. Squires pushes romance writing envelopes and doesn't seem to follow any of the "unwritten" rules.
After visiting her website I realized Sacrament falls within this series time line and includes characters from this book. It's next on my TBR pile and I plan on rereading The Companion too.
Have a spooky weekend, and scary reading.
Thursday, October 27
Not a large haul, but I think 3 good finds.
I couldn't pass up a 50th Anniversary Edition of Harold and The Purple Crayon.
And, I've already finished Wendy Wax's Hostile Makeover and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a Chick Lit meets Romance, nicely done.
I'm off to bed, happy reading.
It's been a rather odd reading month for me. The list of books I've read is rather short considering I've been reading about 20+ books a month for the past few. I'll be lucky if I read 15 this month--I'm at 12 so far with only 5 days to go and I'm not really in the mood to read. The whole month has been this way, not really in the mood, but doing it anyway.
It Happened One Autumn -- Lisa Kleypas
Private Demon -- Lynn Viehl
Northern Lights -- Nora Roberts
The Champion -- Elizabeth Chadwick
The Bargain -- Jane Ashford
Bride Needs Groom -- Wendy Markham
Short Straw Bride -- Dallas Schulz
A Singular Lady -- Megan Frampton
Strange Attractions -- Emma Holly
The Dark Queen -- Susan Carroll
The Courtesan -- Susan Carroll
Crazy Hot -- Tara Janzen
Four of the books were over 500 pages, Northern Lights, The Champion, The Dark Queen and The Courtesan.
What makes it even more strange--I'm enjoying what I'm reading, even while pushing myself to actually do it. But, it has been a nice mix of books, which is probably why I'm enjoying what I read despite not being in the mood:
- Medieval -- 1
- Ren. France -- 2
- Trad. Regency -- 1
- Regency -- 1
- Victorian -- 1
- Western -- 1
- Romantic Suspense -- 2
- Contemporary -- 1
- Vampire -- 1
- Erotic Romance -- 1
Not a bad mix considering normally half of what I read end up being Regency period historicals.
Well, for what it's worth, that's this months stats. What are your stats this month?
Have a great day and happy reading.
One more thing, I'm heading to B&N today, so my pledge not to buy anything new lasted about a week. What can I say, I'm weak.
Tuesday, October 25
Yesterday morning I finished The Courtesan. It rises above TDQ, what a fantastic book. There is a wonderful review at AAR . Here is a quote from the review that completely describes how I felt about the book:
This novel is almost 600 pages long and includes court intrigue, witchcraft, potential war, religious persecution and yes, a romance. Given all that, I would not have been surprised if it had bogged down at some point, but it never did. Ms. Carroll managed the various story threads with skill and grace. I read this in a night, unable to put it down. Though the plot and setting made this read more like straight historical fiction (with the very slightest touch of the paranormal), the author never forgot the romance. I was intellectually intrigued and emotionally satisfied right through the slightly over-the-top climax. Not many books can do that.
When I sat down to read yesterday morning I told myself I was only going to read for 20 minutes, I was so sucked into the climax (the last 100+/-) pages I didn't look up for 45 minutes and spent the next 20 scrambling to take a shower and get Junior to school on time, somehow we made it by the skin of our teeth.
The next book The Silver Rose is due out in February. I can't wait!!!
Have a great day and happy reading.
Sunday, October 23
I found an interesting article through Meljean's blog. I'm not the only person looking for horror with romance. She has a link to an article by Joyce Ellen Armond at Speculative Romance Online.
Yesterday AngieW an interesting column at RTB about the pushing of the sex envelope in erotic romance.
Got to go and get in the shower, we might make 7:30 mass.
Have a great day and happy, joyous reading.
Thursday, October 20
List of the top 110 banned books. Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've read part of. Read more. Convince others to read some.
#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Kapital by Karl Marx
#37 Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Wednesday, October 19
Most people witness the ability to make all sorts of car noises at an early age and somehow all boys seem to be able to pick up a stick and turn it into a gun, knife, sword... you get the idea. But there are other things attached to that Y chromosome I thought were learned, but I was wrong.
The other day Junior is getting ready for a shower and he announces he has to "poop." So, I turn off the shower and put him on the bowl, leave the room, because he needs privacy and when he's done he washes his hands and comes out of the bathroom. I go in to restart the shower and he heads into our room climbs up on my husband and the conversation goes something like this:
Jr.: Daddy, smell me.
Dad: Good boy, your hands smell clean.
Jr: No Daddy smell my hiney.
Another conversation between father and son:
Jr: Excuse me, I did a backward burp (that's what Junior calls passing gas--he came up with that one one his own)
Dad: You're excused
Jr. Hey Daddy, can you smell it?
Bathroom humor, it's part of the Y Chromosome.
Tuesday, October 18
Forget the covers, notice I'm easily sidetracked. I'm about half way through The Dark Queen and it's definitely a romance. I'm enjoying it, but not finding enough time to read. Of course, if I had spent my time reading instead of entertaining myself over at blogthing.com, I might actually be finished with TDQ and have started The Courtesan.
Holly Lisle has a great column over on RTB. I pulled this from the end of the column:
...Passion, heart, faith, hope, courage, and soul, tucked within a framework of strong characters, a tight story, and from time to time, a good laugh.
I just love this description of what type of book she's looking for. I realized this is what fuels my obsession with books, I'm constantly looking for the perfect keeper.
After my mad dash to B&N the other day, I've decided I'm getting a little out of control. I'm not buying anything until I get my TBR pile down a little. So how long is this going to last--I give myself a week maybe two. I know, I'm weak and pathetic--LOL.
Have a great night and happy, "joy"ful reading.
"There's no joy in Mudville" is the title of one blog. And, I've used the expression "joy of joys" twice in a rather sarcastic tone--LOL.
Okay, I'm a sarcastic toad who has no appreciation for the "JOYS" in my life--LOL. Well, that's not entirely true, I appreciate them I just don't blog about them using that term. Junior is my greatest "joy" and right now he's bugging me to get off the computer, so I've got to go.
I use "enjoy" and "happy" on a regular basis do those count?
Let's tag Cindy, Erika, and Amanda.
Have a great day and "joy"ful reading, hehehe.
- My IQ is 140 but I'm logically below average (one of my college professors told me I thought in circles, so I guess this one is right--LOL)
- My inner hair color is purple.
- My power color is red-orange.
- I believe in God and my religion (but I don't believe everyone needs to be part of my religion)
- My blog should be purple.
- I passed the US Citizen test with 9 out of 10, but I can't figure out what I got wrong.
- I'm 50% weird.
- My pimp name is Sugarlips Dynomite.
- I'm like Mexican Food, spicy yet dependable.
- I was a red headed cannibal who died of dysentery in a previous life.
- I'm so observant I'm lucky I remember to put underwear on in the morning--that's really bad.
Thanks to Megan I'm supposed to be counting how often I've used the word "joy" in my blog. I'm afraid each time I've used it was rather in a sarcastic tone. I'll post the results later.
Monday, October 17
This weekend I finished Megan Frampton's first book, A Singular Lady, it was very good. I like Megan's writing voice, it's a very nice Traditional Regency. The characters are quirky and fun which gives it an interesting twist to Traditional Regencies.
I also read Emma Holly's Strange Attraction, this was a extremely well written book, but the subject matter isn't what one would call a typical romance or romantica, it's really is straight erotica and yet it has a strange HEA, I guess that's where the title comes from--LOL. I'll leave everyone to search out a synopsis for themselves.
Got to go, it's a school day and we need to be out in 1/2 an hour and I've still to showere.
Have a good one and happy reading.
Sunday, October 16
Thursday, October 13
My son and I have been singing this wonderful Winnie The Pooh song for days.
Now, I know a few weeks ago I said smack me if I complain about the weather, but I think I'm officially allowed to now. Since Saturday we've had over 15 inches of rain and the river behind our house is flooding, big time. Thank God, we live on the high side and it's flooding across the river into fields and marshes. There is no risk to our home and most of the homes in our neighborhood, we would need a flood of biblical proportions to actually flood as high as our back door. We had an incredibly dry summer, so much so we've had a drought watch on for months. Well, we're all done with drought watches and warnings and the grass is now green again, which is rather nice since it hasn't been green in months.
The nice side of being stuck in the house, is not really being stuck, we've been rather lucky, we were able to get to school yesterday without a problem, today we are going to 2 book stores, the grocery store and Karate school. None of the roads we need will be flooded and since we're not made of sugar we wont melt. The down side Junior Barnes is crawling the walls, hopefully Karate will help.
It is giving me a little time to update my blog sidebar and now I'm going blog hopping for a little while.
Have a good one and those of you in the Northeast, stay dry.
Tuesday, October 11
For Junior's first 4 Halloweens I made his costumes. The first 3 were characters from the Wizard of Oz--The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion and The Tin Man. We only have digital pictures of him as The Scarecrow. I don't have a working scanner or I'd load the other two, both were real cute. Last year he announced he wanted to be Lucy from Charlie Brown's "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." The picture below is from when we visited my BIL's Halloween display, the skeleton sings the theme to Disney's Haunted House and the jaw moves--very cleverly done.
Scarecrow--2 1/2 months old
Ghost witch aka Lucy from Charlie Brown 3 years old, from behind he looked just like Lucy running down the street--absolutely too cute.
This year he wanted something different each time we asked. So, I took him shopping. We hit 4 stores before finding a costume at Party City. When he saw "Mr. Incredible" he announced "that's it!!"
I've had to hide the costume, he want to wear it around the house, had to take it to Grandma's and Grandpa's last night and try it on for them. His official unveiling will be Halloween morning for school, I'll post pictures then.
The Italian language consists of 21 letters, the 5 missing letters are J K W X Y. Here's a link to a teaching website that explains in nice simple pictures that J K W X Y are foreign letters and rarely used in Italian.
The hero's last name in this book is "Chickalini" which I guess could have been Americanized when the family came from Italy. For some reason this always bugs me, I'm 4th generation Italian American, the Italian side of my family has been in the States since the 1860s and I knew this. Somewhere along the publishing process someone has to know this, right?
Okay, that's it my pet peeve mini rant of the day.
The book's not bad, so every time I come to "Chickalini" I think someone on Ellis Island screwed up.
Monday, October 10
KarenTempleton's column about small town settings is very good. I live in a small town and love it. I'm a sucker for any book set in small town America, and I agree with Cynthia, the supporting characters shouldn't be "characters." I think the Sheik thing has to do with the exotic and different.
I loved Deeanne Gist's column about receiving her the first bound copy of her first book. I thought the "what's for dinner" questions rather apropos since it's the first question my husband asks almost everyday. There's only one other question that drives me crazy on a regular basis. If I get up at night to go to the bathroom, he asks "Where are you going?" Where the heck does he think I'm going at 2:00 am, out for pizza?
Nicole's first official column is about cats, a subject I adore, since we've always had at least one cat my entire life. Right now we only have one, Petey Cat that likes to sleep in sinks, begs like a dog and is 20 pounds of absolute loving affection. We think he thinks he's a dog. I think Karen Robards has a couple of books with interesting cats. I'll have to search it out--my sister will know, she's a huge KR fan.
Anti-heros are the topic of Kathleen O'Reilly's column, and I wish I had read it when it was first posted, I probably would have commented. I like her list of favorite heros, but I have to agree none are anti-heros:
My favorite heroes ever are: Johanna Lindsey’s James Mallory from A Gentle Rogue, Gideon from Amanda Quick’s Ravished, Lyon from Julie Garwood’s The Lion’s Lady. I asked some friends about their favorite heroes: Roarke from Nora Robert’s In Death series, Dane Hollister from Linda Howard’s Dream Man, and yes, lest we forget, Wolf Mackenzie from Mackenzie’s Mountain.
These hero's may be atypical, but they're not "anti." For me an "anti-hero" can just as easily be the villain of a story instead of the hero and is often just that, the villain of an early story. I love Anne Stuart's romantic suspense heros, they're always of questionable morals and that makes them fascinating. But, for me the biggest anti-hero is Graelam DeMoreton of Catherine Coulter's Song series. In the first books Warrior's Song (originally titled Chandra) he is the villain, he's not much better in his own book, Firesong and it takes the next two in the series to fully redeem him. Now, that's an anti-hero, not necessarily a favorite, but definitely an anti.
One more thing about anti-heros--Hans Solo is not an anti-hero!!
Loved Rosario's column about anthologies. She is so right about length. If done right a novella can be fantastic, but try to include to much and it's horrible. And, just because an author writes great full-size novels it doesn't mean that ability is transfered to shorter ones.
There have been some great columns over on RTB, I've got to try and get there everyday instead of once a week.
Have a great day, and happy reading.
Friday, October 7
I know I'm extremely lucky--I can be home full time at this point in our lives, and that I have a choice in the situation. I don't know how working women do it, and function on any level of normalcy.
I'm up early (5:30-6:00), make breakfast for everyone and pack lunch/school snacks. Get hubby out of the house by 7:30, on school days (Mon, Wed, Fri) Junior and I are out by 8:25. While he's in school, I walk 2-3 miles and run errands. We come home have lunch, I clean, cook and we play outside or go to the park. Junior has dinner between 4:30 and 5:00 and we eat between 5:30 and 6:00. He sits down and has a snack while we eat, but we completely avoid the "witching hour" by feeding him a little early. Junior needs a shower and is in bed between 7:00 and 7:30 and I get to read from 8:00 until I fall asleep, usually around 11:00. Tuesdays and Thursdays are slower as he only has karate in the afternoons.
Where is there time for a job in all of that? My SIL worked full time with her older child and is now home full time with her second child (there's a 7 year difference in their age) she swears it's easier to work--is that possible?
Wednesday, October 5
The odd thing is I'm not really sure these are romances, they have romantic elements--sex, but the build up of a relationship really isn't there. I'm left wondering if there is a true relationship being built. Cypien and Alex from If Angels Burn play a major part in this book and there relationship does seem to be a true love match, but you didn't necessarily feel that way at the end of their own book. Private Demon actually has a kind of strange love triangle--another vampire has been in love from a far with the heroine, Jema Shaw. The hero is Thierry Durand, he's the vampire who goes crazy at the end of If Angels Burn. Alex's brother John plays an important role in this book and he has left the priesthood since the end of the IAB
These books come really close to what I ultimately want in a vampire romance--horror. I guess this is why I like them so much. There is an underlying sinisterness and evilness that is very compelling. It's a good vs. evil story, but you're really not sure who is truly good--the vampires or the Brethern hunting them.
Reading Private Demon and If Angels Burn is like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle without a picture to follow. I have no idea ultimately where Ms. Viehl is leading and that makes me want more.
He's okay, the extention ladder actually slid out from under him, he grabbed the gutter and fell on top of the ladder when his feet got tangled in the rungs. A broken finger, a bruised tail bone, and a little sore all over.
Sunday, October 2
The other day I ran to the UBS/Indie bookseller and picked up part of my current book order...
- Private Demon -- Lynn Viehl
- Wedding Survivor -- Julia London
- It Happened One Autumn -- Lisa Kleypas
- Through a Crimson Veil -- Patti O'Shea
I also picked up the new RT, the link is in the sidebar--I'm being lazy today.
I've already finished It Happened One Autumn. I don't really know what I expected, but for some reason it hasn't lived up to expectations. Marcus has been a secondary character in a couple of books and I wanted his book to be spectacular. Don't get me wrong it's a good book, Lillian, the heroine, at time is incredibly headstrong, which is fine, at least she doesn't fall into the TSTL category.
This is the 2nd in the Wallflower series. The first was Secrets of a Summer Night. Which was good also, but at the end I was left really looking forward to this one, thinking this one would be even better. And, now at the end of this one I'm left looking foward to the next which I think will be better than the first 2. Of course, I've read the sneak preview and the hero of the next book was the semi-villain of this one. I love ex-villain hero's, like to see how an author redeems them.
The owner of the bookstore gave me an ARC of The Midnight Work by Kassandra Sims. It's a vampire book and she's not into them, so she was very nice and gave it to me. I'm not real sure about it, but I'll give it a try. Besides vampires the back blurb comments on zombies, sleazy French alchemists, fairies and "Fairy Land". All of which sounds cleverly funny, but what I'm really looking for nail biting terror from vampire stories. And, I'm so not into fairies and Fairy Land. Oh well.
Have a good one, and happy reading.
by Kristie -
1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas...
"Sunday morning I finished Jane Feather's Almost a Bride."
Not much to ponder for meaning, kind of boring actually, which was my problem with the book itself. The blog was about good authors going "blah".
So, I can't imagine who hasn't been tagged, I'm leaving it open to anyone who wants to do it.